Kucherov to miss 2021 season, but Stamkos expected to be ready

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Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov will undergo hip surgery and miss the 2021 regular season, general manager Julien BriseBois announced Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Joe Smith.

However, center Steven Stamkos is expected to be ready to start the campaign versus the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 13, BriseBois added. Tampa Bay's team captain missed all but 2:47 of ice time during the club's Stanley Cup-winning run while battling lower-body injuries of his own.

Kucherov, 27, tallied 33 goals and 85 points during the pandemic-altered 2019-20 season, pacing the Cup-winners with 34 playoff points. The perennial All-Star winger has accrued 398 points while averaging 38.3 goals per season over the past four years.

The Russian sharpshooter first reported hip issues in early December, according to Smith. Kucherov elected to undergo surgery after attempting to rehab his ailment, determining he couldn't play through the injury for the entire season.

Kucherov to miss 2021 season, but Stamkos expected to be ready
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